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Am I the only one who wonders this?

T

The Real McCoy

Since there isn't a health care forum I'm posting this question here: Why exactly do they advertise prescription drugs? Am I the only one who wonders this? Isn't it a doctor's job to prescribe these drugs? Who exactly are these commercials aimed at?
 

Kandahar

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Most of those commercials end with something like "Ask your doctor if whatever is right for you," so I assume they're targeting potential patients.

Of course, a doctor would be able to better identify the proper medications than the patient who just saw a commercial, so I see your point. It's probably contributing to the overmedication of our society. These advertisements definitely walk a fine ethical line, but I suppose that they're commercially effective, and that's what the companies are most interested in.
 

cnredd

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The Real McCoy said:
Since there isn't a health care forum I'm posting this question here: Why exactly do they advertise prescription drugs? Am I the only one who wonders this? Isn't it a doctor's job to prescribe these drugs? Who exactly are these commercials aimed at?
The commercials are twofold...

1) To get the name of the drug into the doctor's head...

2) To get the patient to inquire about the drug...
 

paulmarkj

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Doctors are bombarded with advertisements for drugs, often in the form of medical papers that show how to use the drugs.

I read a bone fide medical paper in Canada that described how to perform a limb transplant, it was sponsored by a drug company that made drugs to prevent tissue rejection, thus a doctor may be inclined to use the drug in future.

Some dugs are generic, that is, it is the same chemicals no matter who you but them from, so which one the doctor prescribes is just a matter of which ine is in his head.
 

libertarian_knight

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In Canada as I understand it, Drug advertising is not allowed.

In the US though, where it is legal, a HUGE portion of thier outlays is toward advertising. If I Recall Correctly, it's a portion either as large as R&d, or R&D and profit combined. Not to mention at least 40% of Drug R&D is done at publicly funded universities.

Drug Companies advertise for the same reason anyone else does, advertising generally brings in more revenue, than the cost of the advertising, therefor higher profit.

I am a capitalist and bigtime free trader, and I have absolute disdain for marketing and advertising, as is done today. More often than not, advertising and market try to get people to buy things they don't need. Granted the roots are to make potential customers aware of the product, so should they need or want it, they know it exists. But now that such a role has mostly been filled, they sell cars to people who have cars, drugs to people who are on drugs, TVs to people who have TVs, and clothes to people who have clothes.

The market has been saturated so effectively by capitalist mechanism, with all the things people really need and most of what they want, that the only thing left to do, is sell them more of what they already have, or make use of planned obsolescence.

it's for this reason that car parts change on the same vehicle from year to year, with no real aesthic, performance, or comfort improvement, and the only standardized part on all cars is the tire's valve stem.

The is plenty of money to be made by selling the people what they need and want, there is still more to be made from selling them more of what they have. If you watch carefully what commercials sell, it's almost always something you already have anyway, as do most, if not all people. But things people may need: Corn, bread, simple clothes, running water, etc. those things don't get advertised so much, because people already buy them, without being informed by flashy, scantly-clad spokepersons. There really is so little that's advertised, that a person can do without Just about everything you see in a comercial, you can never buy, and still be just as happy. Or at least, never buy the advertised version of it.
 

Technocratic_Utilitarian

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Drugs are advertised because we live in a mass-consumer society. This is not necessarily always bad, but it does have the negative consequence that people are frequently mind-colonized by what they see on television. Many people are weak-minded hypochodriacs who will see a medicine on television, and then when they think they are sick, go out and pester their doctor about a particular drug.

Even if you don't need the mechanism, our society has tonnes of wasteful me-too drugs that companies want you to consume, whether you need it or not. This is one problem that goes on with antibiotics; people learn of drugs and then pester their doctor to give them the drugs whether they have in illness that is treatable with antibiotics.

Enough whinning will get you what you want many-a-time.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Well, it obviously works if the pharmeceutical companies are shelling out the $ to advertise.
 

libertarian_knight

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galenrox said:
I have to question the wisdom behind all of this advertising. I can't for the life of me figure out who the hell watches a commercial and then asks his/her doctor about the drug. When I go to the doctor I say "My knee hurts, tell me what to do", or something along those lines, since I am quite certain he knows better than I know what I need to do.
It's obvious it works. If corps spend money, and do not recoup some or more as a result, they stop the spending. So maybe not you, but someone is seeing those ads, and asking their doctor, or even requesting the med.

Especially with the atrocious amount of money they spend, that are getting that, plus some extra, as a result of the advertising. Simply, it is done for profit. If there is no profit, the act doesn't continue very long.
 

stsburns

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The Real McCoy said:
Since there isn't a health care forum I'm posting this question here: Why exactly do they advertise prescription drugs? Am I the only one who wonders this? Isn't it a doctor's job to prescribe these drugs? Who exactly are these commercials aimed at?
Prescription companies want their "Consumers" to be somewhat educated enough to tell doctors what drugs they want to use. Even if they don't need them, or could help the person in any way. It's an easy promotion of their product and they can still charge alot for their product once they have you on their drug.
 

wonder cow

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Why exactly do they advertise prescription drugs?
It's crap. Drug companies should send the info to Doctors. But, what can you do? It's a mostly free country.
 
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